Airbnb’s business has taken a huge hit amid this Coronavirus epidemic. They are looking at ‘Virtual Experiences’ to engage users.
The travel and leisure industry is experiencing one of its worst nightmares in the form of global lockdown.
People are mandated to stay in their homes. All transportation modes, especially flying to and from countries, have been handicapped. With these two effects of the pandemic, the businesses of travel and leisure companies have taken a huge hit.
Unless they innovate, these companies will flounder even before the global lockdown is lifted.
While other companies are looking for the government to save them, Airbnb is taking things to their own hands.
New ‘Virtual Experiences’ feature
Airbnb has never been just a home-sharing app for people to use. They have rolled the functions of a travel agency into one platform.
Hence, a user may not only book his own lodging in a new place, but he may also book his local activities in the app. Previous to the lockdown, these features in the app was called ‘Experiences.’
Airbnb has recognized that we are living in a new world now. Since people cannot move about, they have brought ‘Experiences’ to the homes of their users via Zoom.
— The Verge (@verge) April 9, 2020
In Airbnb’s own website, Catherine Powell, head of Airbnb Experiences shared that ‘Human connection is at the core of what we do.’
‘With so many people needing to stay indoors to protect their health, we want to provide an opportunity for our hosts to connect with our global community of guests in the only way possible right now, online.’
‘Virtual Experiences’ options
Previous to the lockdown, Airbnb has allowed the locals to utilize their platform to create experiences for travelers. They are doing the same for ‘Virtual Experiences.’
Presently, an Airbnb user may register for a ‘Virtual Experience’ for as low as $4 for a guitar lesson.
Other experiences include cooking classes, magic card trick shows, and even a rollerblading session with professionals.
This feature takes going around the world seriously. Airbnb has curated the first 50 experiences on the list that are from unique countries that offer unique experiences.
Airbnb takes care of the older people
The company has partnered with several organizations around the world to cater to older people specifically.
One among which is SAGE. Michael Adams, the company CEO, has said that the most vulnerable to the disease are the elderly. Therefore, it is important for the company to have partnered with Airbnb to bring a sense of normalcy to them in their homes.
Image courtesy of Unsplash/Giu Vicente